FISHING KAYAK WITH MOTOR: INTRO
There are so many different ways to propel your fishing kayak through the water. There is the traditional way – using paddles; the trendy way – using a pedal kayak; and there is even the technologically advanced way – using a trolling motor! Before you dive into this article, we suggest that you get up to speed on your understanding of motorized kayaks by reading our Kayak Trolling Motor Ultimate Guide!
We have even ranked The 5 Best Kayak Trolling Motors! Ok, now that you’re up to speed, let’s talk about a style of Fishing Kayak with Motor Packages!
Fishing Kayak with Motor: Guide
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Many KFC readers have expressed interest in learning about the availability of fishing kayaks with motors, and this interest excited us to write an article on these awesome products! Several of our readers knew about pedal kayaks or trolling motors, but many didn’t know that you could buy a fishing kayak that already had a motor installed within it! We begin this article with a short summary of the basics of these types of fishing kayaks to get you up to speed on their design and history.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, you’ll be ready to learn how to use a fishing kayak with a motor on your upcoming vacation! To help you do this, we have written a short “how to” list that will take you step by step through how to properly use this particular type of kayak.
After that, we’ve included a few of the features that we feel are the most necessary to find in your motorized fishing kayak. We have added some detail in support of each feature – explaining why we think each is of specific importance to the kayak fisherman. Next, we’ve added a short write up about our own experiences using fishing kayaks with motors. Hopefully you can learn from some of our mistakes! Let’s get going!
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Ever since the very first kayak fisherman set out to the waters in search of a catch, anglers have been seeking the optimal way to propel the kayak across the water. Some prefer to do so with paddles. Others like to use pedal kayaks so that they can power the kayak with their feet, leaving their hands free to tend to their rod and reel! Still others prefer trolling motors!
Kayak trolling motors can be found on the market with relative ease. However, this wide availability does not mean that a kayak trolling motor is without its share of headaches. What do I mean? Well, acquiring a kayak trolling motor is just the start! To be able to use one, you’ll need to acquire a kayak motor mount and, depending on the style of your kayak, you may need a mounting rail as well! This can be somewhat overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with trolling motors or how to install them. Wouldn’t it be better if someone knowledgeable had done the combining of these products for you?
Well, as you might have guessed, you are in luck! There are a handful of kayak companies that have built high quality trolling motors right into the hull of the kayak! Buying one of these “pre-packaged” fishing kayaks with motors is a wise way to move forward. Yes, you can certainly buy a fishing kayak and then add the mounting plate and trolling motor in the aftermarket. However, there is something to be said for allowing a third party to make sure all of these components are compatible with one another, minimizing the risk of mismatching pieces of gear and even the risk of breakdown or injury!
How to Use Properly
We mention it above, but just buying a fishing kayak with motor package isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. The short checklist below will serve as an easy to follow resource for those of you who are unfamiliar with using a trolling motor while on the water, regardless of whether the motor was part of a package deal or not! Let’s take a look at some of our most helpful tips and tricks!
- DO – Make sure to acquaint yourself with the user’s manual that comes with your motorized fishing kayak. The user’s manual is going to go over distance ranges, temperature limitations, and some basic maintenance procedures for making sure your unit stays in top condition!
- DO – Make sure that you familiarize yourself with your directional controls prior to placing the motorized kayak under power. Master the concept of forward and backward movement when considering that you’ll need to steer the trolling motor or rudder to the right to turn to the left, and vice versa!
- DO – Understand the importance of boating etiquette while using a motorized vessel on the water.
- DON’T – Make sure not to go too far from shore until you have mastered using the motorized kayak to safely navigate in all directions!
- DON’T – You’ll want to avoid running a fishing kayak with motors for a period of time in excess of that suggested by the user’s manual. Also, be sure not to constantly “redline” the motor at its max RPM as doing so may burn out the motor prematurely, and frankly isn’t necessary to generate propulsion.
- DON’T – You need to ensure that the motorized kayak is not stored in an area that is subject to wide ranging temperature fluctuations or extreme sunlight, as each of these elements will wear upon the longevity of the unit. Make sure to store the motorized fishing kayak in a temperature controlled setting and you will be rewarded in terms of increased durability and longevity!
Fishing Kayak with Motor: Important Features
We are fortunate that there are a number of fishing kayaks with motors presently on the market. The wide availability helps keep this combination of pieces of kayak fishing gear more reasonably priced, though admittedly not cheap. You’ll want to be careful to select only those motorized kayaks that come with the features we describe below. Yes, there are many kayaks that have one or two of these desirable features, but it is the combination of each of them that truly results in a top of the line product! Let’s take a look at some of the critical features one by one.
- Drop In Place Motor Console. This is very important. If you’re looking at buying a motorized fishing kayak as a “package deal” (i.e.: a package that includes the mounting plate and the trolling motor) be sure to buy one that comes with a “drop in place” motor console. Chances are, you are buying a package deal in an effort to make your experience more efficient. A drop in place motor console has a very easy installation (one that is NOT shared by those models that are not “drop in” friendly). Simply lower the motor console into its designated spot and snap it in. The console will sit snuggly to the hull of the kayak, eliminating the chance of a leaky connection that might allow for water to seep in!
- Foot Control Rudder Steering. One of the benefits of buying a fishing kayak with motor package is that you are allowing yourself to free up your hands to tend to other matters (like your rod and reel). Believe it or not, some motorized kayaks will come with rudders that require hand steering! This is counter productive! You’ll want to find a motorized kayak that allows for the rudder to be controlled by your feet! This type of steering system works by locating pedal controls year the location where a kayak fisherman’s feet are already situated. This allows for ease of navigation and continuity of ability to fish multiple lines simultaneously!
- Motor Size. Most fishing kayaks with motors are going to be sized from 25 pounds of thrust to 55 pounds of thrust. We always suggest that motorized kayaks be sized to provide at least 45 pounds of thrust. Why? Not only will you be able to move from location to location more quickly, the larger size will help you overpower anything that mother nature throws at you, including increasing wave or current sizes, or even the wind!
Also, make sure that your motor is enclosed within casing that will stand up to the rigors of kayak fishing. The propeller should be oh high quality as well. We suggest that metallic or reinforced plastics be used for both the propeller and casing, as these will better protect the motor from incidental contact with trees, rocks, debris or even the water’s bottom that are enviable to avoid during a kayak fishing career!
Buy the Best Fishing Kayak with Motor
Like stated above, there are a number of motorized fishing kayaks on the market. This being said, some are of much better quality than others, so you’ll want to do your research (and reference the important features above) when deciding which kayak with a motor is best for you.
We’ve included a link to one of our favorite models of motorized kayak above. This model is just over 13 feet long and 36 inches wide. It weighs 117 pounds and can support a load of 600 pounds (more than enough to fit you and your kayak fishing gear)! The included trolling motor will deliver 45 pounds of thrust, allowing you to zip from location to location with ease.
We like that it comes with a salt water grade motor (allowing for it to be used in the ocean), six high quality mounting plates where other kayak fishing accessories can easily be attached, and a hands free foot directed steering system. Importantly, this motorized kayak can deliver forward and reverse direction (many kayaks are forward only) and it includes USB charging ports so that you can power your phone or even connect your outdoor speaker. A pretty compelling package!
Fishing Kayak with Motor: My Experience
It took a long time for a friend of mine to convince me to try kayak fishing with a motor. I had long thought that kayaking was a sport that required paddles, as that was the traditional method of moving from location to location. More than anything else, I was concerned that the noise from the motor, or even just the presence of the technology with me while on the water, might take away from the serenity of the sport. I was wrong!
I have come to learn that a kayak with a motor is one of the most enjoyable ways to participate in kayak fishing. My concerns about engine noise were misguided, as these battery powered engines are “run quiet”, meaning that they are far less noisy than their gas powered cousins. Also, using a kayak with a motor has actually made me a better fisherman. How? The motorized kayak allows for me to fatigue less than a pedal kayak or paddle powered kayak would. This, in turn, allows for me to stay on the water for longer periods of time (and to fish more locations). The longer the time on the water? The more fish I seem to catch! Learn how to safely move your motorized kayak down to the water by using a kayak cart!
FISHING KAYAK WITH MOTOR: CONCLUSION
I hope this article has helped you learn more about the possibilities of using a fishing kayak with motor package for your own kayak fishing outings! Buying the “total package” is a wise idea for kayak fishermen of any level of skill or experience as it allows for the manufacturer to put together harmonious pieces and reduces the risk of the fisherman inadvertently buying mismatching gear! Also, a “package deal” will often times be less expensive than buying a basic fishing kayak and then trying to add after market products (like the trolling motor or mounting plate) to it!
If you have any questions about using a fishing kayak with motor package or wonder whether this type of kayak fishing could be a good fit for you, be sure to post in the Comments section below! Even if we don’t know the answer, we are certain that one of the thousands of KFC readers will be able to jump in and provide their opinion. We love interacting with this kayak fishing community! Oh, by the way, if you are interested in learning more about trolling motors, we have linked to an informative article here!
Did you know that motorized kayaks existed? Have you ever used one? What was your experience? How did it compare to powering your kayak with paddles or with your feet? Did you find that the experience was more enjoyable? Did you stay on the water longer and potentially even catch more fish? Be sure to share your story with us by posting below. We’d love to hear from you! See you on the water!